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Vettel 'surprised' at F1's removal of pre-race drivers' ceremony

Sebastian Vettel hopes that the drivers can still find a way to support different causes following Formula 1's decision to move away from the formal pre-race ceremony.

Sebastian Vettel admits he was "surprised" by F1's decision to remove the formal pre-race ceremony where drivers have been able to show their support for various causes. Since the beginning of the 2020 season, the sport has pushed for increased diversity with its We Race As One initiative. This has involved holding the ceremony before races where drivers gather at the front of the grid, with many opting to take the knee. However, Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali recently confirmed that, whilst drivers will still be able to take the knee if they wish, the formal ceremony will no longer be held . In 2021, Vettel took the opportunity at the pre-race ceremony to show support for different causes. One of the most notable moments came at the Hungarian Grand Prix, where the four-time World Champion wore a rainbow-coloured T-shirt featuring the slogan 'same love' after speaking out against the country's anti-LGBTQ+ laws .

"The issues are not going to be gone within two years"

Vettel has expressed his disappointment at the removal of the ceremony, and hopes that the drivers can still find a way to support various causes. When asked whether Formula 1 had kept him informed of the planned changes, Vettel told media including RacingNews365.com : "No, they just changed [it]. "I was a bit surprised. I think the issues that we're tackling are not going to be gone within two years, and therefore I was a bit surprised. "I hope that as drivers we find a way to get together and find a slot [to] still [be] expressing topics that are important to us. "Probably not all the drivers care, but I think there's some that really do care, and it would be great to get together, but probably it was getting a bit too strong and too individual for the business side of things." In terms of events on-track, Vettel was amongst the first to get back in action this week. Following Aston Martin's launch of the AMR22, the German joined teammate Lance Stroll for a shakedown at Silverstone on the following day .

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